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Westside joins in Rock Retreat and literary competition

Some 12 students from Westside School, ranging from Year 7 to Year 13, took part this year in the Rock Retreat and Accord Literary Young Writers’ Competition.

All pupils submitted a piece of writing and were selected for the three-day workshops that were held locally in late February.

The winning entries will be included in the Rock Accord Anthology to be published later this year.

The Rock Accord will be at The British Council in Accra on Saturday, May 27 and will be going live to introduce these writers’ highly accomplished written and illustrated responses and the prize topics.

This will be happening at 5pm and our pupils will be joining the festivities via Zoom link.

“Throughout the February workshops the Accord Literary and The Rock Retreat shared tutorials, class guides, and writing aides with pupils, with a focus on the tools needed to enjoy this writing challenge and to help unleash the creative writing bug in children everywhere,” a spokesman for Westside School said.

“Our pupils were treated to online tutorials, in person workshops and zoom meetings with writers such as poet Benjamin Zephaniah, local writer Jonathan Pizarro and cartoonist Gary Northfield to explore and discuss the wonderful potential of story telling, the power of stories and why we need to share our stories with one another.”

Angelika Bosco, Year 12, was one of eight recipients of a trophy award; these recipients have been chosen from all submissions from all pupils, across all participating countries.

Her piece was brilliantly received by the judges of The Rock Accord Young Storytellers Prize 2023 and her prize winning entry ‘The Old and The New’ stood out.

She was awarded a trophy and a certificate designed by Eleanor Dobbs, Gibraltar’s 2023 Cultural Ambassador.

Angelika’s work will also be included in the Rock Accord Anthology to be published later this year.

Judges included Ele Fountain, Jonathan Pizarro and Ayesha Harruna.

Ms Fountain praised Angelika’s work, adding she gave her characters authentic voices and raised interesting ideas about what divides and connects different generations.

Mr Pizarro added her descriptions of people allowed the reader to see them clearly, and he liked how she tied in the idea of an old work of poetry.

Ms Harruna Attah said: "I especially enjoyed the way this story unfolds and the lessons the old man imparts to the narrator.”

Year 12 Head Student, Eva De Vincenzi, and Year 8 student, Anali Ressa Moreno, were also in receipt of a certificate of congratulations and recognition for their writing.

Minister for Education and Culture, Dr John Cortes, said wished the young writers every success.

“I am really pleased at this coming together of Education and Culture, and particularly of the success of these young writers,” Dr Cortes said.

“This is precisely what we want to promote as we encourage Gibraltarian writing and Gibraltarians to write.”
“I wish these young writers every success now and in the future.”

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